On 4 December, the former Interior Minister of Georgia, Vano Merabishvili, commented on the interview of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to the English-language Russian TV channel, Russia Today, which was aired a day before. In this interview, Garibashvili declared that the level of trust in the police doubled during the period when he was the Interior Minister. On his Facebook wall, Vano Merabishvili wrote that he is surprised about Garibashvili's statement.
"Mr. Garibashvili says that during the period when he served as the Interior Minister, the rating of the police doubled. I would like to remind him that according to any reliable survey conducted over the past five years, the level of trust in the Georgian police ranged between 80 percent and 90 percent. Consequently, doubling this indicator could have been impossible even theoretically. Instead of spreading cheap lies via TV channels which serve the Kremlin propaganda, it would be better for the Prime Minister to take care of Georgia's economy being now in crisis and increased crime," Merabishvili said.
In an interview with Prime Minister of Georgia, a journalist, referring to young age of the prime minister, asked him whether he has enough experience to run the country. Garibashvili said that this skepticism was present when he was appointed the Minister of Internal Affairs in October 2012.
"I was 30 at that time. The ministry was in lamentable shape when I took over. The system was totally politicized. And I'm proud to point out that we put the ministry back on its feet. And trust in the police has doubled in the past year. The level of trust in the police is 86-87 percent, while it used to be way down before," the Georgian prime minister said.
The International Republican Institute (IRI) has conducted regular surveys of public attitudes in Georgia for many years now. According to the IRI survey in 2010, the trust in the Georgian police stood at 84%. The results of the survey conducted by the same organization in late 2012 showed that the police was trusted by 84% of the population again.